Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-present (Google eBook)
McPherson captures the best and worst aspects of American journalism since 1965. The press has evolved into a conglomeration of entities, that today can be described as pervasive, entertaining, and justifiably mistrusted. In some ways, today's press offers the best journalism Americans have ever seen. In other ways, the modern news media fall short of the ideals held by most of those who care about journalism, and far short of the promise they once seemed to offer in terms of helping create an enlightened democracy. Neither a paean to the press nor an exercise in media bashing, this book finds much to criticize and to praise about recent American journalism, while illustrating that traditional journalistic values have diminished in importance — not just for many of those who control the media, but also for the media consumers who most need good journalism.
Chapters are devoted to various themes that include social unrest, the influence of entertainment values, technological shifts, media consolidation and corporatization, issues of content versus context, new kinds of news media, and why the 1970s may have been the high point of American journalism. Events and issues given extra attention include the rise of television news (and later CNN), the Civil Rights Movement and other race-related issues, the Women's Movement, various forms of alternative journalism, wars in Vietnam and Iraq, investigative journalism, the World Trade Center attacks, the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns and elections, civic journalism, and journalism scandals.
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